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Author(s): Hensley, Brandon S; Draine, Bruce T.

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Abstract: Interstellar iron in the form of metallic iron nanoparticles may constitute a component of the interstellar dust. We compute the stability of iron nanoparticles to sublimation in the interstellar radiation field, finding that iron clusters can persist down to a radius of similar or equal to 4.5 angstrom, and perhaps smaller. We employ laboratory data on small iron clusters to compute the photoelectric yields as a function of grain size and the resulting grain charge distribution in various interstellar environments, finding that iron nanoparticles can acquire negative charges, particularly in regions with high gas temperatures and ionization fractions. If greater than or similar to 10% of the interstellar iron is in the form of ultrasmall iron clusters, the photoelectric heating rate from dust may be increased by up to tens of percent relative to dust models with only carbonaceous and silicate grains.
Publication Date: 10-Jan-2017
Electronic Publication Date: 9-Jan-2017
Citation: Hensley, Brandon S, Draine, BT. (2017). THERMODYNAMICS AND CHARGING OF INTERSTELLAR IRON NANOPARTICLES. ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 834 (10.3847/1538-4357/834/2/134
DOI: doi:10.3847/1538-4357/834/2/134
ISSN: 0004-637X
EISSN: 1538-4357
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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